What happened

Tuniu (TOUR -0.23%) stock appears to be ending a turbulent, difficult 2022 on a high note. On Tuesday, the Chinese tour operator's stock popped more than 5% higher, on very encouraging news about that country's tourism sector.

So what

On Monday, China's National Health Commission announced that the country is eliminating requirements for incoming travelers to take a nucleic acid test for COVID, and to enter quarantine. The move is effective on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. 

It is part of a broader set of measures aimed at managing the country's response to the COVID pandemic. It will downgrade its classification of the disease from Class A to Class B. In addition to the change in the rules for inbound tourists, other measures will be eased. These include the elimination of contact tracking, aggressive quarantining, and classification of at-risk areas.

Government-managed newspaper China Daily quoted vice minister of the Commission Li Bin as saying that the authorities' "efforts have created the conditions for us to modify the legal classification of the disease." He added that those with the currently dominant strain of COVID, omicron, are seeing relatively low rates of severe cases and fatalities. This indicates that the disease's pathogenic properties has weakened.

Now what

Any company even tangentially involved with incoming tourism in China is breathing a massive sigh of relief just now. Tuniu in particular has taken massive hits to its business because of the country's increasingly controversial zero-COVID policy; now that this is rapidly evaporating, perhaps the veteran tour operator will start to get back on its feet.